Audiobook Review | Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Spoiler Free

The corn itself could have been waving hello, or it could have been breathing.

Published: August 25, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen

Length: About 9 hours

Series: N/A – Standalone

3 Stars

Quinn had never been scared of the dark. And before tonight, she’d never even thought to be afraid of clowns.

Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.


You know that meme of Spongebob leaning against a tree and taking a deep breath? That’s how I feel after reading this book! This was a wild ride, to be sure.

I want to set a reminder that three stars means I liked the book, and I did, I liked it. I just didn’t really like it. It was enjoyable and had all those typical teen slasher feels that we’ve grown to love from movies like Scream and Halloween, and this had potential to be more than your typical slasher, but it fell short of what I expected.

Let’s start by talking about what I enjoyed!

I really loved the narrator for this, Jesse Vilinsky. She sounded so so much like the woman who narrates The Black Tapes podcast, and her inflection, accent, and voices were spot on! I liked Quinn and I could appreciate how authentic this novel felt to teens today, especially when it came to the language and actions. I hate when I read YA novels and they feel so sugarcoated and fake, it was nice to feel like I was listening to something about real teens. It had that classic 80’s/90’s horror movie feels and that was exactly what I wanted!

This book was also super gory. SUPER gory. Really graphic and pulls no punches when it comes to the murder, which I both appreciated and was shocked by. There were several moments when I was listening while I was cleaning my house and I would yell “WHAT?” because this was both full of some interesting twists and lots of gore. The whole premise of the book was interesting and I literally didn’t see the ending/unmasking coming until it was fully revealed, so I liked being in the dark and bewildered about it all, even if it was a little far fetched.

I think the reason this was a three rather than a four star book was that it didn’t really have a lot of emotion behind it all. We got all this backstory about Quinn and her family and… it was all for nothing? It didn’t really have anything to do with anything, which is fine, but why add it all? The ending got a little weird and kind of political in terms of whole plot, but it was just…. strange, I suppose is the word. I don’t know, I just wasn’t a fan of the whole ending/unmasking.

All in all this was really fun read for Halloween/spooky season, but it didn’t really do anything for me past giving me those fun teen slasher vibes. To me this was a shallow book, but fun nonetheless!

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One thought on “Audiobook Review | Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

  1. Pingback: Wrap-Up | October 2020 | Tonkin About Books

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